Mike Lovato, Adult Ministries Pastor
July 31, 2016
Objection: A Merciful God Wouldn’t Allow Suffering
(all scripture is HCSB)
“Why is there evil in the world? What about suffering?”
• Sin broke God’s original design
Genesis 1:31a, Genesis 3:6b-7, and Genesis 3:23
• God understands our suffering
Matthew 26:36-39, Matthew 27:28-31, and Matthew 27:46
• Followers of Jesus identify with Him when they suffer
1 Peter 4:12-14
Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. 13 Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory. 14 If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
BIG QUESTION: Does God cause suffering or does God allow suffering?
Four Causes of Suffering
1) Our own actions
2) Other people’s actions
3) Results of a broken world
4) God’s discipline
• God uses suffering to shape us
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.
• Hope exists beyond our suffering
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away.
Action Steps to Deal with Suffering:
1) Remember that God has shown you its roots and has final power over it
2) Move from WHY to WHAT
“Why did God allow this to happen?” to “What can God teach me from this?”
3) Cling to the truth that God is with us in our suffering
One Last Thought:
Suffering is inevitable in our broken world, but we have hope in Jesus who is with us now and deliver us forever.
RESOURCES FOR FURTHER STUDY
The 10 Most Common Objections to Christianity
The Reason for God
The Case for Christianity Answer Book